Before a thunderstorm hits your area, the air is usually hot and humid. This is typically the time you want to crank your air conditioner to cool down. Once the storm actually hits, the temperature and humidity will go down, but you can still be left feeling hot. We understand the discomfort of feeling hot and humid, but during a storm, it’s best to just shut your air conditioner off. Typically, with a thunderstorm comes lightning, which can damage your running unit if it is struck.
Even if a storm seems like it isn’t close, lighting can travel and strike 10 miles or further. While lightning strikes are usually rare, they can still happen. For houses, the most vulnerable point is the electrical service drop on the roof. When lightning strikes, it can send 5 billion joules through your home’s electric wiring. 5 billion joules is enough to toast 100,000 pieces of bread so it is certainly enough to take out your air conditioner.
Since air conditioners are electrically insulated for protection, it most likely won’t become hot or electrically charged if struck by lightning. If struck, the plug will most likely melt and damage the electrical circuitry in the control panel. This repair can be a big one and in some cases, you may have to replace the air conditioning unit.
Play it safe and shut off your air conditioning unit in any future thunderstorms. In the event that you forgot and your unit is struck and damaged, contact A+ Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today! We offer air conditioning repairs and maintenance for residents throughout New Hampshire. Get more information by calling (603) 518-5777 or by filling out our online contact form.